New Nielsen online metric means adland can compare apples with apples

By Brendan Coyne | 12 March 2013

Exclusive: Nielsen is firming up pilots for a new online and mobile reach metric launching in May. The research firm said it will become a game changer in terms of measuring campaign reach. It will also translate online reach into the same language as TV. Advertising will be able to compare apples with apples.

An official announcement on the Online Campaign Rating (OCR) launch is anticipated at Consumer360 in May. Ahead of that, the company is "actively talking to clients in the marketplace" to roll-out pilots, according to Erica Boyd, vice president, cross-platform audience measurement at Nielsen.

She told AdNews that it would mean media owners and advertisers will be able to understand "exactly who their campaigns reached in terms of gender and age on an overnight frequency". That enables brands and partners to "adjust and optimise campaigns while they are in progress".

The development will also enable transparency and consistency. Audience reach in TV advertising terms is measured in TARPs (Target Audience Rating Points). OCR will enable the same terminology to be used across mobile and online campaign reach. It will also show overlaps across consumption mediums.

Australia has a 60% smartphone penetration and tablets penetration is set to explode this year. "We expect [tablet penetration] to grow from 30% to 50% in the next 12 months," said Boyd.

That underlines the fact that media consumption is no longer linear.

As such Boyd said it was a "healthier discussion" for the market to stop talking about mobile and internet and other channels as separate entities. Far better "to discuss the type of media people are consuming rather than the platform," she said. And as the media landscape fragments, it becomes critical to advertisers and media owners to understand what people are using at any point of the day, she added.

But Nielsen is not forgetting traditional media. "Absolutely not. The foundations of understanding TV viewings holds its place in the market ... but as devices proliferate the opportunity is much more vast".

Nielsen is will also bring another metric to Australia.

Electronic Mobile Measurement has been used in the states for 18 months and more recently in Japan. It enables use of metering technology across Android and Apple devices. Boyd said there was no firm timetable for an Australian launch but it would happen. "we're talking to stakeholders to understand more precisely their requirements," she said."We have spent a lot of time getting it right."

Later this year with OzTam, Nielsen will launch a pilot looking at TV consumption via apps on mobile devices. It will look at iView and others across different devices.

Boyd said the "huge maturity" of the Australian market and its rate of technology adoption created a landscape where both media firms and R&D outfits such as Nielsen could "thrive".

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